“You know what you must do to imitate us. We lived a disciplined life among you.” II Thessalonians 3:7 (GW)
Aunty Wilma and her husband were in ministry, but he died when she was still quite young. Her ministry was working with children and holding Sunday School teachers’ training classes. She was still determined to continue to work for God, and altogether visited 70-80 countries, continuing her ministry in many of them. One of her favorite young people she worked with became Pastor Steven. Now towards the end of her life, she was at a church pastored by him and his wife. Because of her very frail health, after the service she went to lie down for a rest. Pastor Steven came into the room to see how she was, and she was crying bitterly. When asked what was wrong, she stated how she wished she could do more work for Jesus. She felt she had done her best, but now it was time for people like Steven to carry on.
I wonder what our feelings will be when we know we could soon be going home to be with Jesus. Will we have the assurance that we have done our best, or will we have regrets that we should have done more with the talents God had given us? What spiritual legacy are we leaving behind for those following us? Let us look at a few of God’s servants in the Bible.
Joshua: Joshua faithfully led the Israelites after Moses died and lived to be about 110 years old. He was concerned that the Israelites would continue to serve the Lord. Some of his last words were “but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15 (KJV)
Peter: Tradition says Peter was martyred and, refusing to be crucified in the normal way, was crucified upside down. Some of his last words were words of concern that those he had worked with would continue the work. “For our Lord Jesus Christ has shown me that I must soon leave this earthly life, so I will work hard to make sure you always remember these things after I am gone.” II Peter 1:14,15 (NLT)
Paul: Paul’s latest known letter was II Timothy. He said, “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. II Timothy 2:2 (KJV) He knew he was soon to be martyred for his Christian faith and works, but he departed knowing he had done his best. “As for me, the hour has come for me to be sacrificed; the time is here for me to leave this life. I have done my best in the race, I have run the full distance, and I have kept the faith.” II Timothy 4:6-7 (GNB)
What is our spiritual legacy that we will leave behind?